This was my model:
Here are my various orchid experiments. #1 was at the top left #2 is top middle, #3 is top right, #4 is middle left, et cetera.
#1. Pencil. Line drawing. (Tentative)
#2. Single unbroken line, aiming to draw the whole plant. (Promising, Modern)
#3. Single unbroken line, zooming in on a couple of blossoms. (Clean)
#4. Vaguest, quickest, representation of the whole. (Loose)
#5. Watercolor, attempting to draw the whole. (Flintstones - yes, I know that is not an adjective, strictly speaking)
#6. Watercolor, zooming in on & centering the leaves. (Bold)
#7. Watercolor, impressionistic color play with blossoms. (Sensitive, subtle)
#8. Watercolor, attempting to draw the whole and to incorporate color mixing, value contrast, and some impression of shading and depth by use of color and value. (Vibrant)
#9. Watercolor, without looking at the object (Soft)
10. Kuretake sumi ink quick drawing of the whole (Harried)
Things I Learned:
I liked #3 and #8 the very best and they are also the pieces that feel the most complete to me. I loved how #3 came together – the detailed line drawing of a couple of the flowers, using just a single unbroken line. The result looks clean and confident and the shapes are simplified and uncluttered. I smile when I look at them. #8 has a vibrancy and vitality to it, the colors seem to go together well. I like the values and the contrast in the piece, from the deep saturation of the forward facing flowers, to the lighter pink of the flowers that are facing away, to the variations in the greens and the defined lines of the pot that is not, itself, much colored in (as the leaves are not fully colored in). There is a completeness to it and a vibrancy and even a little bit of depth. I would not have known I could have painted something like that.
I also liked #6 and #7. They were done fast and the strokes in #6 felt confident and the sensation of just reaching for paint and applying it fast and boldly like that felt good. In #7, I liked playing with the colors of the blossoms, mixing the bolder magenta and yellows on the right side and the more muted magenta-yellow combo on the left.
Although I didn’t have any particular fondness for the outcomes of drawings #2 and #4, in both cases, I liked the process very much. #2 was the first one where I tried drawing with a single unbroken line and with #4, I wasn’t aiming for any amount of detail at all. I just wanted to make the quickest possible impression of the whole overall plant. We had more time than I expected for that drawing, so I added a lot of detail that I hadn’t intended to have after I drew the quickest possible cloud shape of the whole. I liked that because in the previous ones, I hadn’t had time to get to the whole plant.
I didn’t like #9 so much, although that might have been predominantly because I didn’t have time for it. I tried drawing the plant without looking at the object, but I didn’t have time to get very far. #4 also just didn’t get to go very far.
I don’t have strong feelings about #1 and #10. I feel like in #1, I can see the limitations of my quick drawing skills and so, while I don’t hate it, I don’t love it and I don’t much want to keep playing with it. In the last one, I grabbed a brush pen with sumi ink in it and I was glad that I was able to make an impression of the whole plant quickly and relatively clearly, but it doesn’t really feel alive to me. I think if I slowed down, softened the sometimes harsh edges of things and perhaps played with line weight or with value more, it might pop more to me.
I could imagine continuing to play with #7. I see the potential for expanding #2 and #6, but I’m not inspired enough by what is on the paper to imagine that I would actually keep working on them. But, I really liked those color changes in the blossoms of #7 and could imagine continuing to add to the picture.
This was a wonderful class! I look forward to playing the game again and again!